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Leaves of Absence

There are two kinds of leaves:

  • approved off-campus study for full-time study elsewhere
  • personal leaves, when you don't expect to transfer credit back to your Smith record

You cannot be on leave of any kind for more than two consecutive semesters. If you wish to stay away for a third semester, speak with your dean about withdrawal and readmission.


A personal leave can be requested via the 


A study abroad or study in the US leave can be requested via the 



If your plans are made (for example, if you are studying abroad), you must submit the form for the fall semester by May 1 and for the spring semester by December 1.

You can place yourself on leave voluntarily at any time before the semester begins.

Returning to Smith


The Office of the Registrar and the Office of Residence Life will email you materials about registration and housing during the semester immediately preceding your scheduled return.

Remember to check your Smith email even if you are away!

Rescinding a Personal Leave

If you decide to rescind part or all of your leave of absence and return to Smith, you must notify your class dean in writing (email is fine). You should do so as soon as possible. Include your ID number and specify the semester you intend to return. Students who rescind a leave can register for courses once registration opens during add/drop. A new registration code will be required from your adviser.


Students who rescind a leave of absence are housed on a space-available basis. Contact the housing coordinator in residential life for more information.

If you wish to take a leave from a yearlong study abroad program, you must consult with the Office for International Study. You may be required to withdraw, depending on the program.